Dwarf novae

Alternative definitions (3), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Dwarf novae

A class of novae and cataclysmic variables that have multiple observed eruptions. Their prototype is U Geminorum star. Optically, dwarf nova eruptions have amplitudes of 2-6 mag in V, a duration of a few to 20 days and a recurrence time-scale of weeks to years. Dwarf novae are thought to be semidetached binary stars consisting of a white dwarf primary accreting via Roche lobe overflow from a companion which is usually a late-type, generally main-sequence star. DN outbursts are usually attributed to the release of gravitational energy resulting from an instability in the accretion disk or by sudden mass transfers through the disk.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan